T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Buddleia davidii (White Profusion)

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Buddlejaceae
Genus: Buddleja
Species: B. davidii
Binomial name: Buddleia davidii 
Common name: Butterfly bush, White Profusion

It is native to north-western China and Japan.  Buddleia davidii 'White Profusion' is a large stately beacon to butterflies and beneficial insects. his shrub ( 1.6 m) has white flowers in clusters measuring up to 20cm in length. These are the lightly scented. It blooms from late spring through late summer. It has soft silvery undersides on its leaves. of the flowers.
Buddleia it is a major weed and is very invasive and is common throughout New Zealand and forms dense stands in a wide range of habitats. In riverbeds, it can alter water flow, causing silt to build up and flooding problems. Buddleia is extremely ecologically versatile, tolerating a wide range of soils, especially poor soils. It can tolerate frost, and a wide range of conditions. Thickets establish and grow quickly, and are self-replacing. It invades river beds, stream sides, disturbed forest, shrubland margins and bare land. It reseeds profusely into bared sites and cut stumps will also resprout. Spread by fine seed which is wind blown.

A Chinese weevil Cleopus japonicus was introduced in 2006 as a weed biocontrol agent and its impact) continues to impress with some buddleia bushes being completely defoliated.
The weevil lays its eggs on the leaves of buddleia bushes. The eggs hatch and grow into a yellowish grub up to 5mm in length (like a small maggot), which eats away at the leaves, defoliating the plant, much like monarch caterpillars on swan plants. However, in this case, the grub stunts the buddleia’s growth and can even eventually kill it. The grub pupates in a cocoon on the leaf, eventually emerging as the adult weevil that can fly to a new plant to mate. Although some some insects such as butterflies eat nectar provided by the buddjeia flowers, its potenial impact on native ecosystems far outweighs ts food value